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Mental health of the general population, worldwide, did not greatly worsen during the pandemic, compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to a new international scientific study, the most comprehensive of its kind to date.

The women were affected more than men, but the findings show that overall the mental impact of Covid-19 ended up being less than the initial more ominous estimates.

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The overall deterioration of mental health is considered marginal to small, which highlights once again, according to the scientists, human adaptability and resilience.

The researchers, led by Professor Brett Thobbs of the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University in Canada, who published the relevant publication in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), evaluated 137 studies from around the world (systematic review and meta-analysis ). 75% of the participants were adults and 25% were children and adolescents aged 10-19.

The main conclusion -to the great surprise of the researchers- was that, despite so many dramatic stories that have been reported from time to time, essentially there were no adverse effects in the general population, in terms of general mental health and anxiety symptoms, while a marginal deterioration was recorded in depression symptoms. Women showed a small deterioration in all three categories (general mental health, anxiety, depression), confirming that they carried somewhat more mental burden during of the pandemic. The reason was their increased family – and often work – obligations and, in some cases, domestic violence against them.

The elderly, students and sexual minorities were the other groups that, in addition to women, showed somewhat increased psychological effects. The same is true to some extent for some parents. On the other hand, general mental health and depressive symptoms showed improvement to people with pre-existing mental problems.

“In all population groups, the findings show that rather than a mental health crisis, a high level of resilience was recorded at the population level during Covid-19 and changes in mental health, anxiety and depression symptoms were marginal to small or even non-existent “, the researchers emphasized. They also pointed out that during the pandemic no country recorded a significant increase in suicides, instead there were decreases in some countries.

See here the link to the scientific publication